Article by Ric Dean
60% of businesses around the world are small or medium-sized. The number of startups is also increasing at a rapid pace. Also, this is the age of digitalization. One major benefit of digitalization is that everyone around the world has access now to digital information, so marketers don’t have to be present in a specific corner of the world to promote their product or service.
Having a digital marketing strategy is important especially for small and medium sized businesses to survive and thrive in this world of growing competition. Whether you are a start-up or an established brand, it is advisable to work with a reliable SEO agency to maximize your returns on digital marketing investments.
1. Indulge in local search marketing
Digital marketing for small businesses should start from a solid local search marketing strategy. It includes claiming all the results relevant to your business. Doing local search marketing correctly will put you on top so that local customers can find you easily. It is not a new marketing strategy but takes rigorous efforts to put you on the map.
2. Try podcasts
After some time, listening to the same old playlist becomes boring plus there is nothing informative in those songs. Podcasts, on the other hand, are packed with a heavy dose of enlightenment which you can hear instead of your songs and gain some knowledge. Businesses are busy with the traditional marketing strategies but podcasts have huge upsides which they don’t know.
There were 38 million active podcast listeners in 2018. This number is speculated to quadruple by 2022 to over 120 million. The podcast market is somewhat empty right now and it is the perfect time for digital marketers to build their audience. Since the podcast market isn’t hot right now, you can buy cheap production equipment and try to generate listenership. As your audience increases, raise your production budget as well.
3. Use AI for making digital marketing efforts count
Artificial intelligence (AI) will have a large role to play in reducing the problems that digital marketers face today and will help them in increasing their revenues. If you have a click-through rate of 1%, it also means that 99% of the remaining audience has decided not to click on your ads for reasons known only to them.
Using machine learning, digital marketers can reach out to the right audience at the right time and location. Today, AI systems such as Azure and Watson can sift through vast reams of data such as e-mail clicks, interests, age, location, shopping habits, and comments on social media. Customized algorithms are created which automatically gives scores to this audience and then suggests the most relevant audience for displaying your ads.
4. Create a search engine friendly website
Websites today look far more advanced and pleasing than websites of 1995. Also, consumers want quick results. This basically means that your website has very little time to impress them. If your website is slow, unresponsive, less intuitive, and asks the customers to work to get what they want, the customer will surely leave your website and will probably never come back.
Having a good and intuitive website, like pianohunter.com, will not be of any use if the customer cannot find it in the first place. Therefore, it is extremely important that your website shows up on top whenever someone searches a product or service relevant to your business. Also, the website you create should be optimized for mobile devices since these have become the hardware of choice for a large majority of customers.
5. Use keywords to your advantage
Keywords are absolutely crucial for digital marketing strategies of small and medium-sized businesses. Research on keywords will give you a better idea of the terminology people are using to describe your products and services.
Tools like Google Trends, Keywordtool.io, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, and Google search bar allow you to plan keywords for your website. Use of these keywords within the blogs and websites in a meaningful manner will increase the traffic on your website significantly.
You can connect with local bloggers who are interested in writing about the website. Provide them with the keywords which they can use within the blog. Also, the blogger will provide a link to your website on their blog which helps to increase traffic to your website.
6. Facebook ads and videos
Facebook has a variety of ads and you can choose the type which you think will get the job done for your business. They essentially help to spread awareness about your brand locally and take customers directly to the homepage of your website. However, it is important to properly aim the advertisement towards the target audience otherwise; the ad will go up in vain.
Google is allowing small and medium-sized businesses to add their pictures and videos adjacent to their listings on Google. This not only helps to draw more customers towards the website but also lets people know what your specialties are. Also, businesses have the power to control what appears next to their listing. Customers can ask questions related to the business and you can send a video reply which clears their doubts.
7. Send newsletters
During checkout, ask customers for their e-mail IDs or phone numbers and feed them with a planned dose of promotions, offers, discounts, new product launches, and industry news.
Once you have e-mail IDs, ask customers to review your product, service, or business. Reviews can potentially influence the buying decisions of people. This is a simple step but very useful.